I think its time to admit I need help...plssss?


9 Years
Jun 17, 2013
Hi I have two white fantail doves,one male one female,I have no idea of how to care for them,I have chickens and thought ok im a pro now...I guess im not...I have them in a run with a hutch and havent let them out to fly furthur because im scared they will go missing,I dont know if thats fair in them or not but I just cant imagine them finding there way back,ive read online and some say let them free fly others say keep them in a aviory which I have them in,but theu must be so bored in there,ive made them a new aviory with a small door I could open to let them out,but is that the best thing to do? The aviory I have is large sectioned to 4 areas a hen area,chick area,food area/cockeral area when I get some then a dove area there area is quite big it has there hutch in and a bird house its high enough to fly and walk about in the hens are in and out so they have things to look at and interact with ,but I cant help but to think they must want to explore the whole garden like the chickens do,so Im guessing my question shall I keep them in a aviory or let them out? They have been here for approx 10 week,also what can I feed them for treats should I be giving them fruit and salad?
10 weeks is long enough to get fantails settled to their new home. You can let them out, but first I would get them trained to a feed call (whistle or make some kind of sound every time you feed them) and let them out hungry so you can call them back in to eat when you want. For treats, pigeons love raw peanuts and safflower. They do not eat fruit usually but they do like chards and kale, best tied in a bunch and hung up in the aviary so they can strip the leaves into smaller pieces more easily.
I trap train my homers before I fly them. Not being familiar with your set up I do not know what to advise in your case.
The landing ramp hinges up and they get used to entering the loft through the wire bobs. Once they had did this successfully for about a week I then release them hungry from about 100 yards away in full view of the trap with the landing ramp down (homers are athletes and are bred to fly and find home).

It is best to take away their feed for about 12 hours before you fly them the first time. That way you have an ace in the hole to motivate them back to the loft straight away.

I would fly them as singles at first with the mate in full view inside the loft if possible and bring the partner out hungry and release them in full view of the loft maybe 25 yards away at most from the loft or what ever distance is practical.

Fantails are not know for their homing ability and could get lost from around the corner on their first flight. That being said all pigeons have some homing ability once trained gradually.

Once they have done this successfully a time or two then I would fly them as a pair (still hungry) with feed awaiting them on their return to the loft each time (and maybe hand feed a treat of peanuts or sunflower hearts).

My white homers swarm me for their treats when I enter the loft. (homers are know to be stand offish as a rule). I do white dove releases in Canada and my homers have returned from 100 miles away already. I am quite sure my blood line can do as much as 600 miles.

Good luck Chooketychook.

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Thankyou but arrrrgh im so confused now,ok if I let one partner out and keep the other in then ill have to shut the door and the partner wont be able to get back in there house.
Tommorrow evening I think ill just leave them without food and just open the door in the morning?
Do you think they would have unhappy lives if I just left them in the aviory and not let them out?
Most pigeon fanciers have a trap system to control their pigeons comings and goings. You might want to investigate and think of putting one in. Run a search their are different types.

If you let your birds fly at large 24-7 you will be getting complaints from your neighbours and rightfully so. I free fly my birds at 0600hrs in the morning and 1800hrs through out the summer. They are usually out for about 2 hours in each session.

There are at least 2 different types of fantails that I am familiar with. The American Fantail with a crooked neck and unnatural carriage (my opinion very poor fliers) also the Indian Fantail much better fliers (the one I prefer of the two). The American fantails would do just fine in an aviary situation. Most fanciers use American fantail as drop birds to entice their homers into their loft faster.

The Indian Fantail would enjoy more freedom.

Here is a Champion Indian fantail.

Here is an American Fantail.

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